Andy Lerer, All Trades, Essex

After 20 years working as a senior manager in the corporate world and having my own property development business, I was looking for a management franchise opportunity to start up my own business.

I saw franchising as an opportunity to take on an established model rather than start from scratch. I was impressed by All Trades Network's pilot operation based in Lancashire and the professionalism of the management team and the business they had built.

The business allows its franchisee to completely manage their jobs from start to finish through its internet-based IT System ATOMS (All Trades Operating Management Software). With ATOMS we can manage the job from the initial survey and report, through to scheduling of the job with the policy holder and the insurance company, to maximise customer satisfaction. The majority of the work is coming through the national contracts won by All Trades Network, where I concentrate on developing those relationships with our mutual suppliers to build the business even further.

I quickly built a team of six employees and have now grown this team to 15, to include two contracts managers and an administration manager. I am now 18 months into my franchise and my turnover has grown from £1,000 per month in October 2005 to £50,000 per month in December 2006. My plan is to grow this to £100,000 per month by next December, and my five year business plan is to exceed a turnover of £3 million per annum. All the support necessary to build my business is always readily available from Head Office. The next stage of my business plan is to look at the opportunity of expanding my franchise territory.